Friday, September 24, 2010
(Title says: Hello!)
Not a whole lot going on. Sort of like a plane taking off. Much excitement with takeoff and landing, but at cruising altitude it's calm and relaxed.
For our graduate criminology class, we have decided to research and write a journal to hopefully get it published in one of the criminal justice quarterly journals here in Australia. It may not seem like much to some of you out there, but to have your research published is a big deal for us. So what we are aiming for is research into the trafficking of exotic animals. We decided on this topic because 1. Nadia has partial work done for it and 2. exotic animals are the 2nd biggest trade item in the world behind drugs (#1) and ahead of weapons (#3). Yet, because it is not viewed as a big issue, the fines and penalties is usually a slap on the wrist. So I am very excited about it. Only 13 weeks to get it done!
Also stopped by STA Travel to pick up some brochures. What I am hoping to do is come December break (3 weeks), travel around Australia. With winter break in July (6 weeks I believe) I want to head north to Asia (Russia, Japan, China and Thailand). And then come my final summer break (December), I want to head to Tasmania (south) and New Zealand. So big plans ahead, let's see if we can fulfill em! So if any of you have friends or tips for those places, def. lend them to me as they will provide valuable and hopefully save me money along the way.
Lastly, got certified for my Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. With this, I can now handle alcohol whether it be bartending or running a bottleshop and just selling it to people. I want to do something along the lines of security, but it looks like a 2 day course at $500 has to be taken in order to do something like that. Sooooo, I'm going to skip that (unless the company wants to pay for me!).
Also sent out postcards today, so expect those from me! If you don't get one, you're either not loved, didn't give me your address or the amount of time to slap a stamp and write "miss you, wish. You were here!" isn't worth my time.
Miss you all and I know you're having the time of your life over there in that fall weather. Hey feel free to come visit :-D
Saturday, September 18, 2010
First week of classes are over and done with. And man has it flown by!
As an international student, I am required to be enrolled in 30 credits each semester, to be done at 120 credits (4 semesters). But to me, it seems like I can be done in 3 semesters if I really wanted too... ...but why rush it?
I have three classes: Chinese on Monday and Friday morning (10-12), Epistemology on Monday (4-6) and Wednesday (4-5) and Criminology Wednesday (11-1) and Thursday (11-12). It seems like a full load, but I am typically done early, the reading is light, and I feel I could squeeze in one more class. But in an effort to not overwhelm myself, I have told myself to just adhere to what I got. Not to mention my Chinese class is only 7 people and Criminology class on Thursday is only 4! So it’s very one on one training, far better than any Biology 101 class could have done at WSU (with what? 500 students?)
I love Chinese, not only because I am learning a new set language that I hope I can take with me when I visit China on holiday, but because it’s a whole new world to me. You’ve seen these characters all your life everywhere on buildings, in menus and even tattooed on people and now you can finally understand them (or at least hoping that it’s Chinese and not Japanese or Korean). The time goes by quick and I anxiously await class on Friday to come around.
Epistemology is a whole different story. Professor Chipman is a bit old and his teaching style is very dry and straightforward, I also find it odd that he never looks AT you, but more or less towards the ground or ABOVE you. Not only that, but this class closely resembles Philosophy 201 (Logic) that I took at WSU. The class teaches you to question knowledge as well as question skeptics. So you get these STUPID formulas that I ABSOLUTELY hate as follows:
1. All men are mortal 1. All a are b
2. Socrates is a man 2. c is a
3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal 3. Therefore, c is b
I hated these sort of questions and formulas because quite frankly, I could never understand them. It looks simple from the above example I posted, but anyone who took Logic can tell you it’s much harder than that. So I hope a 2nd time around I do get it, ha. The class also has a tutorial session which is a smaller group size that Chipman meets with once a week to go over the lecture, quizzes and papers coming up to prepare us for them. Kind of like Biology 101, where you had this class of 500 people but labs of 20 or so, to go over what you learned, etc.
And lastly, criminology is about the same as it was at WSU. Our main class is comprised of about 50 or so people, both undergraduates and post-grads. Then the post-grads, consisting of 4 of us including myself and the professor, meet once a week to go over the lecture, and any other post-grad assignments. I enjoy Professor Lincoln because she formulates the class based upon how WE want to learn and take away from the class. Taking a more dynamic approach to teaching, we cut the final exam in place of doing weekly case studies to present to the others. That way, it’s not a “sit and timed” final exam where you are crunching from memory but instead a learning experience throughout the course. Not to mention, she made an excellent point saying “You pay $100 a day for your education here, might as well get the most out of it”.
So yea, three classes, all relatively easy I hope, and only one final exam. So I expect to graduate with honours here in no time! Suck it WSU!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
So initially I had wanted to live at Varsity Shores but they were all booked up. Really nice townhouses and my main goal was to have roommates to bond, intermingle, socialise with. After that failed attempt, I came across a very nice place called The Reserve, with a guy by the name of Frank looking for a roommate. The place was EXTREMELY nice, the dude a bit quiet but whatever. After a few days he texted me stating he had already rented it to someone else. So, that left me with my final option, Varsity Towers.
The place is a student accommodation or as we call it in the U.S., a dormitory. So you pretty much already know what to expect. Haha. It's a studio apartment and I hate it. Reason being partly I came from a very nice 2 bedroom apartment in Pullman to THIS. Secondly, because the fridge is extremely small, there is no oven and the bed is ON THE FLOOR. But hey, when the sun shines, may hay.....
The lease is for 15 weeks and I am expected to be out by December 18th. So as the end of November approaches, I will be looking for a new place to live, preferably a house, preferably beachside and obviously with roommates. Frank was telling me I won't get a\ny sleep as VT is one big party place. Tonight is my first night sleeping there, so we shall see if he holds true to that. As always though, if anyone wants to come out to visit, or even live and work, hit me up! We'll get a place, I'll introduce ya to some Aussie girls (or guys I guess...) and we'll have "heaps of fun" (trying to adapt to the lingo).
If you are looking to send me a letter, postcard, pieces of your hair, WHATEVER. Here is my address!
Room 140, Locked Bag 1010
Robina, Queensland 4226
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Anyways, officially have a Australian bank account set up with the Australian and New Zealand Bank (ANZ) as well as attempted to get an 18+ card only to realise my old one from 2007 is still valid! The picture is a bit old, but not much of a change eh? The card pretty much allows you to purchase alcohol, tobacco and get into casinos and night clubs. Kind of like a state ID. You don't really need the 18+ card but then you have to resort to using your passport all the time. And I don't want to carry that around with me everywhere.
Housing is still on the prowl. Nothing official yet and still at Surf n' Sun hostel. It's actually really nice as everyone is friendly and very talkative (idea for another blog! more on that later). They go out every night, but from class, walking around everywhere and searching for housing, by the end of the day I'm exhausted.
Classes are going along smoothly. Nothing really to brag about, after the first week is finished, I'll give you a basic run down of my thoughts and all later on. That's it for now!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Anyways, check out the videos!